Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

January 18th, 2008:

Dreams of a Gum Surgery Fiend

This is getting old. No, scratch that—it was old before it started. It is now real old. This morning, while I was still blearily sipping coffee and waiting for the microwave to cook my oatmeal, Carol looked at me across the table and said, “You're turning black and blue.” And it was true: The damage I had previously been able to conceal by just keeping my mouth shut is now leaking through my cheeks somehow, and I have blotches. Not many, not big, but sheesh, this was gum surgery. I didn't have a limb stitched back on. I didn't have my gallbladder removed. I wasn't in a brawl.

Carol, at least, tells me that the swelling isn't any worse than it was yesterday. Yay wow halluluia. It is, however, increasingly asymmetrical, as the left side appears to be going down a little faster than the right—or maybe the right side is still swelling and the left side finally stopped. The pain drugs keep me a safe distance from suicidal, but there are…side effects.

My dreams are changing. They are moving from otherworldly to thisworldly, and I'm not sure that's entirely a good thing. I've had my very personally specific brand of dreams for 55 years, and a guy should go with what works. Magnetic monsters that rise from my tool cabinet and look like walking globs of stuck-together screwdrivers and ratchet sets, well, fine. I can deal with tools. Rotating horned skyscrapers, sure. I used to live in Chicago and I like innovative architecture. Freeze-dried dinosaurs stacked up like cordwood out on the parkway, no sweat. I have a fireplace. Talking doughnuts—hey, I knew guys in college who not only talked to their doughnuts but argued with them. If that sounds weird to you, well, you don't remember the 70s.

I wish I was artist enough to do CGI. I would show you some things, man…

But no. Last night I woke up at 5 ayem from a new kind of dream. I am not making this up; you can ask Carol yourself. There was nothing freaky in the dream at all. There was nothing in the dream that does not already exist in this world, and that's a first for me. It was disturbing in the extreme: I was wandering around Hilary Clinton's red-brick condo in Park Ridge (outside of Chicago, where she grew up and near where I grew up) looking at her record collection while Hilary was talking strategy with two of the senior guys from her campaign team. She had a lot of Steely Dan. Ms. Clinton was charming, pleasant, and every so often came over to me to see if I wanted more nachos or another soda. I looked at my watch and remembered that I had volunteered to give them all a lift downtown in a few minutes, and decided I didn't want any more Diet Mountain Dew.

She was good with that. So I took my toolbag and went out to look for my car. It was gone. I had parked it in a no-parking zone, and the old guy on the second floor leaned out the window and told me he had reported me and they towed it. Dayam.

The nachos had nothing to say. There were no talking doughnuts. Where were the weird creatures? The space habitats? The mutant Frank Lloyd Wright bungalows floating on antigravity cushions? The fiendish intelligences breaking through from the eleventh dimension to steal our souls? No. Nothing at all. I dug for my car keys and pulled a spool of corotron wire out of my pocket, and woke up in a cold sweat.

Last night I dreamed I was Hilary Clinton's copier repairman. You couldn't beat that for weirdness by tossing in a Maidenform bra. I want off these drugs. Dear Lord, please let it be soon. Please.